Gorges speaks out at NHLPA meeting

Gorges

The NHL and NHLPA representatives gather again on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the core economic issues of the collective bargaining agreement. This round comes after NHLPA executive director Don Fehr staged two meetings with players — one in Chicago and one in Kelowna, BC — following the last sessions, briefing them on the talks.

Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges was among the 38 players who attended the NHLPA briefing in Kelowna, and it’s clear from his remarks that he remains firmly with Fehr and the PA representatives who have been in the negotiations.

Here’s news footage from Shaw TV of the BC meeting that features Fehr and a number of NHL players, including Gorges.

“All the rules and everything that goes with the CBA currently are from decisions they brought into us last time and the one thing you kinda ask is, if it’s not working — and they say the system’s not working — why not change the system?” Gorges tells interviewers. “And the proposal we got didn’t really change. It just asked for us to give up a lot of money and asked us to concede a lot of different aspects but the system itself was still in place.”

Ownership’s proposal calls for the players to take less percentage of Hockey Related Revenue in the new CBA, from 57 percent down to 43 percent. Kevin Allen of USA Today wrote Wednesday that each percentage point is worth more than $30 million. The owners proposal calls for much lower salaries as well as take-backs on things like free agency, arbitration, front loaded contracts and entry level deals.

A number of fans and media observers believe the solution is for the sides to settle on a 50-50 split, which is what the latest NBA and NFL CBAs call for. The NHLPA opposes the 50-50 split (and I examined why in this SI.com post earlier this week).

The players alternative proposal acknowledges the league has problems with some franchises despite unprecedented economic health and agrees to lower salaries for three years followed by a one year return to the current CBA. It also calls for the owners to share more of their record revenue with the struggling teams.

“One side doesn’t have to try to hit a home run and bury the other side,” Gorges said. “I think it’s a matter of coming to an agreement where both sides benefit and I think if both sides benefit, you’re going to have a good game and the fans will be happy and everyone will be happy. So I think that’s the biggest thing: They’re trying to find a system that benefits everybody.”

518 Comments

  1. punkster says:

    This article caught my eye a few minutes ago.
    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/08/23/maple-leafs-dressing-room-getting-a-facelift

    Randy Carlyle seems to be leading the charge on this but I had to wonder exactly what he meant by:
    “… there will also be some changes to things such as the stalls that a modern day player in Toronto is going to appreciate.”

    Now far be it from me to make fun of those pesky Loafers but I thought maybe, just maybe, the collective wisdom and humour that is resident on HI/O could come up with some pretty interesting locker room additions that those “modern day” Laff players would appreciate.

    My suggestion: personal bidets for each and every player, you know, to help clean themselves after meeting up with guys by the name of Prust, Bouillon, White, Moen and some guy named Armstrong.

    Then there’s the Toronto Sun offer request…”Got a suggestion for a motivational message to go in the Leafs’ revamped digs at the ACC? Tweet us @TheTorontoSun using hashtag #LeafsMotivation, post it on our Facebook page wall or email torsun.online@sunmedia.ca

    I encourage you to contribute…and please try not to be too harsh ;)
    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Funhouse mirrors that make those clowns look like hockey players?
      That could be motivational …

    • HabFab says:

      Have those mirrors installed in their bidets that make things…huh…appear larger then…huh… reality…do you know what I mean?

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      “Maintain a positive attitude, expect a lot of yourself and only expect your best.”

      “Don’t sulk or point fingers, stay positive when things get tough.”

      “Every player is a leader in his own way.”

      “Play with self-disciplined aggression. Control emotions when playing aggressively or you will be controlled by opponents or situations.”

      “Avoid making excuses. Admit mistakes, errors, lapses in discipline, accept defeat without excuses. Learn from mistakes, focus on improvements.”

      These are inspirational messages? More like admonishments. They might as well have: “Use the double crossover lacing technique for your skates so they stay tight during the game”.

      ———————————————————————–
      This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  2. temekuhabs says:

    I don’t care what Brooksie of the NY Post says, IMO it IS billionaires fighting their employees, the millionaires for the 3.3 Billion dollar pie. I get that the owners pay the bills, and for some stupid reason figure that they throw money around like drunken sailors (ie) Minnesota $90 million on TWO players???!!??? AND then have the audacity to cry “poor”????
    While how many of you can afford $125 tickets to a game??

  3. HabFab says:

    What side is Stubbs on;

    Dave_Stubbs All the seasonal workers, small businesses whose lives take a huge hit w/ a lockout RT @rwj11: @Dave_Stubbs – what side are you on Dave?

  4. HabFab says:

    Swedish Elite league say’s “No thanks” to locked out NHLer’s;
    http://www.puckworlds.com/2012/8/23/3263294/elitserien-says-nej-to-locked-out-nhlers

  5. HabFanSince72 says:

    Bettman quoted as saying the players earn too much.

    Smart tactic Gary.

    Well done.


    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  6. accp says:

    Like I said before. when this is all over. everyone will be back filling the Rinks and paying a ticket price on what ever they decide. so why come on here and complain. I don’t care if they’re locked out 6-years I can wait till they come back or if they never return. I have a life other than hockey….

  7. mrhabby says:

    those cute cheerleaders in the stands and cleaning the ice will be missed tooooooooooooo….damn nhl.

  8. Max says:

    The players in the clip all look like a bunch of frat boys with the shorts,ratty t-shirts flip flops and backwards baseball hats.You think they could’ve dressed up a bit for the meetings. They look very unprofessional.

  9. Mattyleg says:

    Hey there everyone,
    I don’t know if this has been talked about at all, but I heard on the radio yesterday (98.5) that Georges Laraque is going to be the head of the Players’ Union for the Junior leagues.

    What a joke. The guy on the radio said that it was pretty funny, seeing as how the kids don’t get paid very much, but the costs of their educations are all covered for them. He said that it’s probably the agents who are behind this, rather than the players themselves, and that it’s the perfect place for Laraque, who just wants to get his mug at the forefront of any kind of issue, be it the Green Party, Vegans, or whateverwhateverwhatever.

    Anyone hear about this/have any thoughts on this?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Cal says:

      Laraque shoud be beaten by a mascot that looks like a giant carrot.

      • commandant says:

        The costs of kids’ education is a huge issue here. The CHLPA might have legitimate gripes because the CHL plan can ceratinly be improved. There are too many limits in place and not enough funding overall. What the CHL does is good, but certainly there is room to improve. The organization is a good idea.

        Laraque, a guy with no business experience, and no legal experience, heading the union… thats a joke, and thats where it comes off the rails.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • JUST ME says:

      Heard that too a few days ago. Does not make any sense. Both guys in charge are known trouble makers or at least special..Laraque and Gilles Lupien seem to take advantage of the situation for their own good.

      When asked who would pay the union fees Laracque said that at first the teams would have to pay for them. Ya sure ! As if the owner of a business would be pleased to pay alone for the union fees of his employees.

      Would kill quite a few teams that cannot afford increased spendings here and there. Not saying everything is perfect in the Q but if at 16 years old you become a union member we are in troubles.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        If anything, impressionable 16 year-olds who are not experienced in workplace standards and money matters are those who are most likely to be taken advantage of if the employer lacks scruples, and therefore would benefit greatly from being a member of a union.

        ———————————————————————–
        This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Bripro says:

      Hey Matt…. long time, no hear.
      It was on CTV Montreal and RDS on tuesday night, but, as you say, it’s such a joke that I chose to ignore it.
      It was pointed out by a representative (player-agent) that several costs would be covered with the increase in premium charges, which the parents would undoubtedly have to pay.
      Although Laracque mentioned that it would be the teams which would be responsible to cover the fees.
      Extras such as transportation, food, etc. would then be covered.
      But as one parent pointed out, they’re already covering it, so what difference would it make except render the sport unaffordable for many.
      And as Stéphane Leroux (RDS who covers LHJMQ) pointed out, it would make operating a team far more difficult. Especially the teams which are on the cusp as it is.
      Most teams aren’t structured or as financially sound as the Ramparts, Wildcats or Mooseheads.
      The players only collect $35 per week as an allocation, but viewing that is a simplistic view.

  10. commandant says:

    @Kooch

    The players do not get paid regardless if the business does poorly

    The players are locked in at 57% of revenues.

    They pay into an Escrow fund every year to ensure that even if there contracts say certain numbers, the total paid to players will not exceed 57% of revenue.

    There is no true “guarantee” that says they get paid what their contracts say even if the business falls apart. If the business falls apart, they would pay more escrow and bring home less money.

    The owners put the escrow guarantee in the last CBA to deal with this already.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Kooch7800 says:

      Is there somewhere I can read up on this? I know about the Escrow of x% going into a fund but I want to read more on the salaries only allowing to be 57% of the revenue.

      • commandant says:

        Check the last CBA

        http://www.nhl.com/cba/2005-CBA.pdf

        The entire Escrow argument, and how its done are in there.

        “The players’ share will be 54% to the extent League revenues in any year are below $2.2 billion; 55% when League revenues are between $2.2 billion and $2.4 billion; 56% when League revenues are between $2.4 billion and $2.7 billion, and 57% when League revenues in any year exceed $2.7 billion.”

        “The determination of the percentage withhold of player salary for purposes of funding the player salary escrow will be determined at four separate points during the season. The percentage withhold will be adjusted as necessary to reflect overall League-wide payroll at the time of the various evaluation points, with the intention being to ensure that sufficient monies will be available at the end of the League Year to repay the League in the event of any overpay on the League-wide Players’ Share.”

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/

  11. H.Upmann says:

    cant remember who said it here, but this kind of stuff definately ain’t for the faint of heart. Bettmann’s met his match in Fehr.

    • Mr. Biter says:

      = no hockey this year. Regardless the owners can (for good or bad) outlast the players. BTW a strike or lockout also threatens the livelihood of the other off shoot jobs (office staff, arena staff, resturants,bars, hotels etc).

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  12. CalgaryHab says:

    NHL hockey is like a bad girl friend.

    She can look beautiful but on most days she’s less than appealing.
    She changes her mind on major topics/issues constantly and can never give the same answer twice.
    There’s an annoying little man telling her to do and say things normal thinking people wouldn’t do.
    Every seven years or so she leaves and abandons you knowing full well that you’re a spineless jelly fish and you will take her back despite all the $ you spend and annoyances that you put up with.

    Even the most jelly fish of men eventually kick that b*tch to the curb.

  13. HammerHab says:

    Everyone’s picking sides but one group keeps getting missed. I’m on the side of the waterboy, the stickboy, the equipment manager and whoever else works for peanuts to make sure the players we all love (okay well, maybe we don’t love all the players…sorry G-love!) so much are taken care of. All the little guys who truly need these jobs to provide for their families and will be largely affected by a lockout. Hopefully the owners/players don’t forget about these guys that need them and make sure they are taken care of (in the $ sense, not the Godfather sense) in the event of a lockout.

    ———————————–

    It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

  14. B says:

    You can count Mike Boone among those who say that the players got hosed by the last CBA:

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Doomsday+scenario+this+hockey/7129657/story.html

    With the added benefit of hindsight, I don’t quite see it the same way. Things seem to be working very well for the players at the moment. They are now signing by far the largest contracts in the history of the NHL. I wonder how things would be for the players currently had they not been sodomized (as described in the linked article) by the current CBA? I just never had an image of players like Weber, Suter, Parise, Doughty, Kovalchuk and so many others walking away like Rob Lowe at the end of Wayne’s World after signing their contracts under the current CBA. To me it was a bit more like laughing all the way to the bank.

    • HammerHab says:

      They are now signing by far the largest contracts in the history of the NHL.

      That’s just inflation. Contracts will always go up just as revenues do. The contracts are a % of the revenue and have been at the same percentage since 2005. Revenues have gone up significantly every year and thus so have contracts. That’s just plain old economics.

      ———————————–

      It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

      • Bripro says:

        Has your salary doubled in the last 4-5-6 years? I can tell you that most haven’t.
        Their salaries don’t reflect current economic contexts.
        They reflect abuse, and it’s the shareholders (we the fans) who pay for it.
        Butthead must have a Wallstreet financier hidden in his office somewhere.

        • commandant says:

          They reflect the current economic context of the NHL where the revenues have gone from 2.2 billion to 3.3 billion.

          If the revenues of my employer had gone up by that amount I’d want a raise too.

          Remember that you can’t look at the context of the whole world… what is going on at a macro level is irrelevant. The industry of the NHL is booming, and salaries were adjusted accordingly.

          Go Habs Go!
          Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
          http://lastwordonsports.com/

          • Bripro says:

            Ben, when Nortel’s and RIM’s IPOs went through the roof, their global workforce didn’t see their salaries triple or quadruple, etc..
            The only reason that the player’s salaries have sky rocketed is because of astute agents who, like the brain-dead owners, care not about those who pay the bills, you and me.

            And let’s face it, the NHL’s economic health has everything to do with the health of our dollar.

          • commandant says:

            Sure, the average factory worker didn’t see his wages go up.

            But the highly skilled workers, the inventors, engineers, designers and people who did the irreplaceable work of making the products that made those companies successful did.

            In this case, the NHL players are not the factory workers. They are closer to the designers and engineers. They are elite at their jobs, they can not be replaced easily, and they are creating the product that is driving the growth.

            The fans don’t pay to watch an owner, they pay to see the 600 most skilled hockey players in the world.

            Go Habs Go!
            Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
            http://lastwordonsports.com/

        • Bripro says:

          Ben, I’m an engineer. And I left to start my own company because having worked for two multi-nationals, I can tell you that no matter what I designed, for which they benefited, I never saw my income increase exponentially.
          Christmas bonus, and a decent raise, and that was it.
          The salaries paid to professional athletes… I can somewhat undertand, given that they’re entertainers, but when you see people slaving 10-12 hours/day, for minimum wage….
          In my case, it makes me stop and be thankful for what I have, which is a fraction of what an athlete turns down (e.g. PK).

          • boing007 says:

            Sorry commandant, I really don’t think that there are 600 skilled players playing in the NHL.

            Richard R
            Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

      • B says:

        I don’t begrudge or really have a problem with an elite world class hockey player signing a huge contract or with contract numbers increasing over time. My point is that it makes me pause when I hear them or other folks claiming that the players are screwed over or getting up the wazoo. They seem to be doing better than ever as far as I can see.

  15. frontenac1 says:

    As a Dog returns to his Vomit, a Fool Returns to his Folly.
    We are all hooked like junkies Amigos.

  16. Kooch7800 says:

    The Lock out SUCKS because I really don’t agree with either side. The media is painting that it is just the owners who are greedy and I disagree. You think the owners are happy to be paying players like Scott Gomez 7.5 million dollars…not a chance but they can’t do anything as these contracts are Guaranteed . The players should take less Revenue sharing as they get paid regardless if the business is doing well or not and they are all over paid.

    On the flip side, the owners have teams in places where hockey is not growing and there is not the finances to support it…why is it the players responsibility to help bail them out when they have no say in where the franchises are located? The owners are also making the problems with these insane contracts. Regardless of what they pay the players the ticket prices will always be high in certain markets….

    In my opinion it should be a bonus system….if the team does really well in attendance than the players get a bonus. If the teams make so many wins…bonus….make guaranteed but have other incentives. That would also make it more fair to players making huge contracts playing with a team with no attendance and stress. The players in hockey hotbeds should get a little something extra.

    I just don’t agree with either side on this. They are all greedy

    • Cal says:

      Exactly. Well said.

    • Bripro says:

      Shawn, if you set up a contract offering insentives for hockey hotbeds, then all players would want to play in Mtl, T.O., N.Y., Boston, Detroit or Vancouver.
      There’s no way Butthead would agree to that.
      A bonus system based on performance…that I would agree with.

      • Kooch7800 says:

        Do you agree Bri that players in Phoenix should be able to use their contracts as a bar and get the same as someone in New york, montreal..Toronto etc? The contracts would be the same but there should be a bonus if you play with more media pressure and stress. Right now Bri a lot of players avoid the hockey hot beds because of the extra BS and media….I wouldn’t blame them. Toronto is the highest grossing team and they couldn’t attract a free agent if they tried. Montreal is very similar and they are the most storied franchise in hockey

        I know in my line of work if I move to certain cities in the US I will make more money…just business

        • Bripro says:

          I think our choice of moving for work and being remunerated for it is different. That is an incentive to move.
          I also disagree on attracting players vis à vis the pressure. Look at New York. They have no problems attracting top talent. Neither does Chicago, or Detroit.
          And I would argue that within a short timeframe, given what MB is doing to the Habs’ structure, we will return to the days of glory where players do want to play here.
          If a player is located in Phoenix instead of the big markets, I don’t see why he should be penalized for playing where he prefers being.
          However, if a team recruits a top talent and he decides to sluff (can you say Semin?), then his total income should reflect it.
          Which brings me back to your point which I agree with.
          Play well, get paid accordingly.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The players should take less Revenue sharing as they get paid regardless if the business is doing well or not and they are all over paid.

      Not quite Kooch. If the business doesn’t go well and the revenues go down, their 57% share of that will go down.

      The media is painting that it is just the owners who are greedy and I disagree.

      There’s a reason there’s overwhelming agreement among the experts who cover hockey that the owners are being unreasonable. If this was 25 doctors who agreed on the diagnosis and all had the same recommendation for treatment, we’d be convinced. In this case, every serious, reputable hockey reporter or columnist blames the owners for their impending lockout of the players, and recognizes this as a strongarm tactic to extort huge concessions from those who Bettman tried to characterize as their partners after the last lockout.

      Somehow a lot of fans find it necessary to find fault with the players, to spread out the anger.

      ———————————————————————–
      This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Kooch7800 says:

        So the profit share goes down but their contract doesn’t….

        The players get paid regardless. They might not get as much in revenue sharing but they still get paid the agreed upon contract of x dollars…
        So if it is a small market team like Nashville who is not making a ton of money guys like Weber still get their huge contract with signing bonuses. Remember Mario…the pens couldn’t pay him so he became a part owner of the team cause they couldn’t afford his pay cheque.

        The owners are being more greedy then the players but call a spade a spade here…this is all greed. No NHL players is playing strictly cause he loves the game….they playing cause it is their career where they can be a star and make huge money.

        You think Taylor hall is worth 6 mill for 7 years after playing two years and not playing more than 60 plus games a season in either….not a chance. There is stupidity on both sides

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Again, not quite true about their contract not going down. The number on their contract is modulated by escrow. If at the end of the season all these numbers add up to exactly 57%, great. If it adds up to more than that, the owners take a bite out of escrow to bring the share back down.

          Stu Hackel had a good explanation of how it works, but let’s for argument’s sake say that NHL players receive 90% of their salary on their paycheque, and 10% goes into escrow. If at the end of the season the players’ contract salaries compared to revenues add up to greater than 57%, they won’t get the final ten percent. They only get the amount that brings them to exactly 57%. So in effect, players regularly get 96 or 98% of their ‘contract wage’. One player in Stu’s piece was quoted as saying that he had yet to receive his entire salary, some always being withheld due to escrow.

          I don’t disagree that there is greed on both sides, except that currently it is the owners’ greed that will deprive you of the hockey you want to watch and that you have paid for all these years with your taxes and ticket purchases and product purchases of which a cut gets back to the NHL. The Players have told the NHL that they are flexible, they will live with the cap, they want to help the struggling franchises and will contribute, and they want to enter into a dialogue with the owners about how to get there.

          Every analyst has agreed that the Players proposal is a reasonable first step in negotiation and shows flexibility. Every analyst conversely thought that the Owners’ first offer was ludicrous and amounted to a declaration of war. I don’t know why we’re so ready to apportion blame equally to both parties. The owners aren’t negotiating, they’re trying to mug the players, and they don’t care if the games don’t get played. They are going to be the ones who cancel games, they get the blame. It’s on them.

          The fact that you bring in examples like Shea Weber and Taylor Hall doesn’t prove your point, it proves Don Fehr’s point that the players are already receiving below market value wages. If it weren’t for the cap, all these guys would get much higher salaries, as was the case before the first lockout. The players have recognized that it’s in everyone’s best interests to support the smaller markets and have competitive balance, and they’re willing to work with the owners on this. They’re accepting lower wages than they would normally receive in a free market. That’s huge. That’s reasonable. That’s not as greedy as the owners are being.

          The owners won’t accept lower profits, but the players should accept lower salaries, and a lower cut of the revenues that they generate through their talent. Something is wrong here. It’s unbalanced. Blame should be similarly unbalanced.

          ———————————————————————–
          This isn’t “Billionaires vs. Millionaires.” Only a willfully uninformed fool would apply that sloppy shorthand designation to this disgraceful power grab crafted by some of the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities in North America aimed against professional athletes.–Larry Brooks of the New York Post

          http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

          • boing007 says:

            I liked it better when there were no corporate boxes and the fans that attended the games were all rabid, diehard passionate lovers of the game of ice hockey.

            Richard R
            Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  17. LesHabs says:

    The NHL & NHLPA should come to us as fans by way of online polls to see where we stand on certain issues and take our opinions into consideration on dividing issues between the two parties.

    After all, we are the ones paying the money.

    • commandant says:

      There is already a poll.

      If you don’t like what they are doing, you can choose to stop paying the money.

      If enough agree with you, the league will be forced to change.

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • huge_polar_bear says:

      I understand that as fans we wish that our voices could be heard. But realistically no one ever does this. Has Nike, Coca-Cola, Paramount Pictures, Cineplex Odeon, Kraft etc. etc. ever asked for the consumer’s opinion on how much they pay their employees? I wish that it were different, sure, but the fans are not a negotiating partner and never will be. The reason is simple. Fans cannot organize a unified front. Look at HIO when have we all been on the same page on anything? Even if fans formed the NHL Fan Union, once tickets came on sale the league would still sell tickets even if we decided to boycott. There is no way you could ensure that people would not buy tickets to stick it to the owners/players. I wish we could.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      The two sides care about $ and $ only not fans.

    • ont fan says:

      Fans are enablers. If we change they will change.

  18. HabFab says:

    I read where this poster supports this side and this poster supports that side.
    A BIG news flash here people, neither of those two support the fans side, so IMHO don’t deserve ours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • CalgaryHab says:

      Agreed.
      I only sided with the players as they seem less to blame for the stoppage.
      The fans are never considered by the NHL/NHLPA yet we’re the ones that pay for everything.

    • Bripro says:

      Funny eh Frank?
      They all say that they don’t want the fans to suffer.
      And they think that most are uneducated, and cannot surmise for ourselves what’s truly going on.
      I’m with you.
      A few weeks ago, I posted a rant about both sides, mentioning how this league is a shadow of its former self.
      And I truly believe that. It’s a disgrace.
      When you think of how the Rocket, after playing his butt off at night in front of an appreciative audience, would go home and manufacture (by hand) fishing tackle to sell, to make sure that he provided for his family.
      The wealthy in general have no concept of the life of we, the so-called middle-class, and our efforts to accumulate enough money to take our children to a game so that they can experience the same joy that we did in our youth.
      They’re so out of touch, it’s pathetic.
      If this league, including the owners and the players truly cared about you and me, we’d have a fan representative at the table.
      …..yeah, that’s gonna happen.
      Huh? Oh I think that’s my alarm. I’d better wake up.

      • CalgaryHab says:

        I’m especially angry… Last lock out I said that I wouldn’t spend a cent on anything NHL(still watched though). And I did that for 3 years.
        Then I had an opportunity to buy into my bro-in-law’s season tickets and over the last 3 years we’ve been able to improve our location of the seats to where this year we’re 10 rows from the ice (Saddledome). Now, I want to boycott this game/league again but I don’t want to leave those awesome seats once/if play returns.
        I’m angry my principles have a price…

        • HabFab says:

          Embrace the pain :D

        • bleedhabs81 says:

          10 rows from the ice… err, sorry if that beverage that they pass off as beer I threw from level 2 hit you. I was aiming for Cammy.

          • CalgaryHab says:

            You’re forgiven. I understand the target.

          • Bripro says:

            @calgaryhab I run a small business, and there was a time where I might have considered purchasing seasons’ tickets, but not anymore.

            I get a better seat watching the game with my two very good friends in front of his giant screen, I get to drink my beer of choice (Guinness) for $2.80 instead of $12, and I get to spend $4-500 on something we can use, instead of one night of (last year’s) disappointment, where we’ve lost again in a shoot-out.

            Butthead had promised during the last CBA negotiations that ticket prices would come down…..
            Somehow, his promises have defied gravity!

      • boing007 says:

        The Fans need to organize their own union and petition both parties.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  19. HabFab says:

    Don Fehr: “we have a lot to do and I still believe we have enough time.”
    Don Fehr: “we want more flexibility and the league don’t want that.”
    Don Fehr: “we remind the nhl that the only league that works (no stoppage) has no cap, and that is the mlb.”
    RenLavoieRDS

    • Cal says:

      Is this a google translation?

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      MLB works in a business sense.

      It doesn’t work if you believe that a level playing field is a sine qua non of competitive sports.

      And for hockey to go that route would kill off the small market teams.

      I have no problem with that. Those teams should be killed off.

      But that isn’t in the players’ interest.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • CalgaryHab says:

      @ Bripro – I agree that the best seat is the one at home or at a friends place especially with how good HD TV’s are. But the atmosphere can’t be duplicated on TV. I can only imagine what a game in Montreal must be like because everyone talks about how unreal it is. Calgary can get lame at times.

      • bleedhabs81 says:

        NO comparison, man.

        I go to the Saddledome 4 or 5 times a year and it is lame by comparison. Knickleback plus atco gas fire balls have nothing on Montreal.

        The loudest thing in Calgary is the loudspeaker… in Montreal it is the fans.

        I have only been once but I had goosebumps when the intro song started and they skated out. Freaking goosebumps…

        Saku on the screen stating en francais “ici mon equip” (the first night he spoke french – albiet on video – to shut up the french laywer).

        It was Danny Brier’s first game in the Bell Center since snubbing the habs. We rained down the boo’s!

        Komisarek won a fight

        and we won 5-2.

    • solomio says:

      The MLB doesn’t really work. The have teams buy all the good players. There is no parity. The NHL has pretty good partity

      “I figure Bergevin has 3 or 4 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  20. CalgaryHab says:

    Leave it to the NHL/NHLPA to ef this up yet again. You thought they’d learn. This league couldn’t intentionally be managed worse.

    How many disruptions can there be before even Canadian fans can’t be bothered? I’m siding with the players on this one…

    • Cal says:

      Both sides are idiots. I support the fans who are going to be screwed yet again. This bush league doesn’t deserve our support.
      The only action on the ice this fall will be pro curling. :)

  21. kempie says:

    Gary Bettman: “We believe that we are paying the players more that we should.”

    Who exactly is he directing this wisdom at? The players? Isn’t this an owner problem?

  22. Muckbringer says:

    Ive been wondering what it would take for fans of all NHL teams to form their own union. Pay a monthly due and stick together if they strike.
    Also, i cant imagine what it must be like for all the associated families that have to wait until sept to know if they have a job. Kind of puts the “not being able to watch it” into perspective.

  23. SmartDog says:

    Is this a real Bettman quote?

    Gary Bettman: “its difficult to make progress when you don’t know what are the fundamentals.”

    Regardless, the guy’s a bigger ass than I thought he could possibly be. I’m starting to hope the players just say FU and go play in Europe or Russia, or on the moon, whatever.

    Let the NHL crumble if this Bettman moron is just going to keep shelling out spin and lies and act like the players are being unreasonable by trying to come up with a new solution to the “broken” system that the league shoved down their throats last time.

    Bettman is not just factious (look it up), he’s a PR disaster. Implying that the players are stupid or out-of-touch, criticizing their process of consultation. The tide of public opinion is absolutely turning toward the players.

    ————————————-
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  24. HabFab says:

    So we have reached the impasse in the CBA negotiations. The NHLPA is prepared to hold negotiations based on their proposal and the NHL is prepared to hold negotiations based on their proposal. Two trains running on different tracks.
    Can someone find the rail tranfer link and put them on the same track? “SIGH”

  25. Newf_Habster says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2012/08/23/sp-canada-sports-expansion.html

    The Conference Board of Canada study shows that Canada can support more three NHL teams. I think it is great to see us have more teams only if Gary Buttman let it happen.

    Also the study has indicated that Montreal can field another major league baseball team.

    Your thoughts?

    • shiram says:

      Would require a downtown stadium, with a great number of seats, at the very least 35k. I’d probably still would find baseball boring, but would probably see a game once in a while for some afternoon hot-dogs with some buddies, if the ticket are cheap enough.

    • Cal says:

      Forget boreball. Let’s worry about hockey getting back on track.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Just cause you don’t get the game, doesn’t make it boring.

        I miss those weekend games with my brother or buddies. Nothing gets you out of your seat like a shot down the 3rd base line with runners on!

        Ok…every goal the Habs score does the same thing, but…..baseball’s good too!

        Downtown park…30K-35K seats. If you build it…they will come.

        Go Habs Go!!

        “Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.” – Sam Pollock

        • shiram says:

          It’s such a slow game though, with so very little action spread a very long time, that’s why I find it boring. Going to the games was more about having fun with friends than the game itself, for me anyways.

  26. accp says:

    MB knows what he’s doing and he’ll sign PK or trade him when he’s ready. I’m Pretty sure he’ll sign him and for the right price. if not life goes on. one player is not the team or we’re in big trouble should he get injured….

  27. HabFab says:

    Gary Bettman: “union made today the balance of the proposal and we are far apart on that system.”
    Gary Bettman: “we agreed that we will talk on Tuesday in NY, Don, Steve, Bill and I.”
    Gary Bettman: “we are focus on making a deal…nhlpa wants to keep things the way they are, and that is slowing the process.”
    Gary Bettman:”we believe that we are paying the players more that we should be.”
    Gary Bettman: “its difficult to make progress when you don’t know what are the fundamentals.”
    RenLavoieRDS

  28. HNS says:

    Are they going to sign Subban or did everyone join the witness protection program.

  29. HabFab says:

    RenLavoieRDS Nhlpa made a proposal on players contracting issues. That’s why they needed time yesterday.

  30. HabFab says:

    Josh Gorges joins Twitter;

    josh gorges‏@jgorges26
    Glad to be on twitter finally!! Still trying to figure out how it all works

    • B says:

      So Gorges is still tentatively trying to figure out how tweeting works, but he is confident going in front of the media and commenting on workings of the “system” involved in running a multi billion dollar business? It may just be me, but tweeting doesn’t sound any where near as complicated.

  31. JoeC says:

    Nunas back , everyone hide your children , his post only serve the purpose of sucking the life out of us . Ignore him , he might just go back to hiding in his parents basement slowly stroking his leafs jersey

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      Personally, I like his posts….

      Though, I can’t tell you why I like his posts without actually insulting him… and I am trying not to be that person (unless provoked).

      I can say, I do find his posts amusing for all the wrong reasons.

  32. DCMontreal says:

    The All Star game may be a victim of even a fairly short lock-out/strike. No big deal to me as I think the NHL AS game is a waste of time, but the folks in Columbus can use the revenue.

    http://dcmontreal.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/all-star-games-no-need-to-actually-play-them/

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Interesting, that is one of the carrots that Bettman gets to hand out to various owners. If indeed the All Star game were cancelled, I wonder what arrangements would be made to get Columbus the next All Star game. I believe it is rumoured that Anaheim and the Honda Center were going to get the 2014 All Star Game.

      • commandant says:

        I can’t remember what city it was… but I remember that the team that was supposed to get the 2005 Allstar game, ended up getting the 2007 one.

        There may not be a 2014 game, just like there was no 2006 or 2010 game due to the Olympics (if NHLers play).

  33. bwoar says:

    Is it consensus here that PK is/will be a #1 D? It seems premature to make that assumption.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I think there are many reasons to make that assumption, so much that perhaps it would be easier for you to explain why we shouldn’t?

    • commandant says:

      22 years old…. 25 minutes per game against top lines, +9, 36 points, on a bad hockey team.

      He’s already almost a #1 D, whats premature about saying he will likely be one?

      Go Habs Go!
      Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • jon514 says:

        What Commandant said!

        Seriously PK is awesome. There’s probably 10 dmen currently in the league who put up stats similar to his in their first 2 seasons, and none of them had to face the kind of competition he’s had to with Markov injured.

        Just the fact that he stepped up to meet the challenge where many might have crumbled under the pressure shows you what kind of a heart this kid has.

  34. Timo says:

    Guys/girls,

    it maybe a shock to you, but here in central Siberia, nobody gives a f$%^ about PK.

  35. frontenac1 says:

    Ha! Commandant. Much ado about nothing eh? Rumours,rumours.
    I like Habsfan0 rumour about that nazi Marois being the mystery girl in those Prince Harry photos. Lets run with that Amigos. Hola!

  36. commandant says:

    Just a reminder since people are still getting bent out of shape on the Subban news. This was tweeted last night.

    L.A. Lariviere ‏@L_A_theRiver

    “#Habs Subban’s agent says no truth to report he’s asked for 5 yr/ $30M deal: “Another erroneous report. PK has not made any such request”

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I wonder what is taking so long.

      Here is a question….if you are MB you know that the new CBA is going to have some max term on contracts and some rollback….would it be better to lock up PK now even though he is still developing or risk him getting a smaller term and risk losing him as a UFA

      I would say lock him up long term at a reasonable rate. PK is not the type of player who is going to sit back ….he has way too much pride and wants to be the best

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Kooch, there are 3 dmen all in the same boat with PK, Del Zotto and Carlson. All 3 teams and all 3 players are seeing who blinks first with a deal which will become a benchmark for the other two contracts. I am guessing it is almost as simple as that.

      • B says:

        I believe Montreal wants to sign Subban to a 2 year deal for his 2nd contract (as they did with Price, Pacioretty, and Eller).

    • Luke says:

      Of course PK didn’t make any such request… his agent makes that request on his behalf…

      I’m not saying he truly did or didn’t, just commenting on the media manipulation and deniability so these guys do not hurt their Q ratings…

      You see, the wonderful thing about the way these people manipulate the media is all about selling it.
      PK’s (or whoever) agent demands a trade or 18million per season.
      PK gets to say: “I didn’t ask for it”
      His agent gets to say “PK didn’t ask for it”
      Team gets to say “we’ve had no discussions about this with PK”

  37. commandant says:

    After a day off yesterday, Top shelf is back with Tampa Bay, a deep prospect pool as seen in the Norfolk Admirals long winning streak and AHL Calder Cup Championship.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2012/08/23/top-shelf-prospects-tampa-bay-lightning/

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  38. The Dude says:

    I’ve got a suggestion for all the millionaire’s out there in hockey land to make the new agreement work,install a rule that if you underperformed and don’t live up to your contract,that a portion of your pay goes to the NHL pension fund . Bet you Gomez would of put up better numbers!

  39. DorvalTony says:

    Why is it the two goal players always have so much to say?

    “Hi, this is P.J. Stock for Depends.”

  40. HabinBurlington says:

    In related hockey news, it is now “Official” that the Bell/Rogers conglomerate own 75% of the MLSE (Leafs, Raptors, FC, Marlies etc..).

    http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/article/1245747–rogers-bell-finalize-mlse-purchase

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Ever wondered which world records we Canadians hold that really mean something? Jim Finlayson holds the world record in the “Beer Mile” 5 min. 9 seconds and 4 beers consumed.

    Recently a top U.S. Track star tried to break the world record but had to settle for the U.S. record of 5min. 19seconds.

    Way to go Jim, this is a record we Canadians can be proud of! :)

    http://news.runnersworld.com/2012/08/22/nick-symmonds-break-u-s-beer-mile-record/?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-RunnersWorld-_-Content-News-_-NickSymmondsBeermile

  42. Habfan10912 says:

    Optimistic Jim- First pre season game in one month, September 23.
    Realistic Jim – Ain’t happening

    ———————————–

  43. Chris says:

    On Jordan Eberle for P.K. Subban…

    Abridged version (for those that don’t like tomes):

    I wouldn’t do that trade if you pointed a gun at my head.

    Longer version:

    I’ve never quite understood the love affair with Eberle. He is a nice offensive player, no question. But that is pretty much all he brings. He did get almost a point-per-game last season and potted 34 goals as a 22 year old in his second season. Super stuff.

    But let’s look at some mitigating factors…

    He is a right wing playing with two of the best prospects in recent years (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall) as running mates on a line that was not expected to do anything other than generate offence. He and his linemates saw almost zero penalty killing time all season long and limited ice time (only 17:30 per game) for such a dominant offensive line. This indicates either incredibly inept coaching or a lack of confidence in he and his teammates as two-way players. Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins combined to score 79 goals and a collective -1 rating. Compare that to Montreal’s top line of Pacioretty, Cole and Desharnais, who combined to score 84 goals and a collective +23 rating. Montreal’s top line isn’t particularly great defensively either, but that just goes to show how far the Edmonton trio have to go before they get even to that level.

    If you bring in a player like Eberle, you’re going to get 30-40 goals but at the cost of a drop in production from the right wing on the top line that he replaces (Erik Cole, in this case) who is good for 25-35 goals. Is that 5-10 goal difference on the season enough to account for the loss that P.K. Subban represents?

    The point total for Subban is obviously much lower, but he is certainly poised to add to his point totals. He is essentially a 40 point guy already, and that is despite having brutal starts in both of his seasons and working on a power play that hasn’t done much.

    More importantly for me are the minutes that he eats at the hardest position in hockey. Subban finished 14th in the NHL in total minutes played as a 23 year old defenceman…that is ridiculously good. Unlike Eberle, those weren’t easy minutes: Subban was matched up against the other team’s top players most nights, and finished 45th in the NHL in short-handed time on ice and 31st in power play time.

    Subban plays in every role, and plays well. Given that defencemen usually hit their stride in their mid-20s, I wouldn’t give up Subban for many players in the NHL. Nobody is sacred on any roster…if the right deal comes along, you have to listen if you are a smart general manager.

    But Eberle is not the right deal. He is an exciting young player that will have a very good to great NHL career. But his importance to the Montreal Canadiens, if he were acquired, is dwarfed by that that the rapidly improving P.K. Subban already represents.

    And before people confuse me with a fanboy of Subban’s, I’m decidedly in the camp that thinks he needs to yap less, play smarter and focus on becoming the great NHL player he seems to think he already is.

    • Kfourn says:

      I find it concerning how much people underrate Dmen and overrate forwards. It seems that the only thing that matters is point totals. I take your point of view as well, I don’t think that Eberle is even close to what PK brings. If you stack your team with offence, but don’t balance it out with defensive minded players, you become another Philadelphia Flyers team, exciting to watch but nothing to write home about until they get serious with their defensemen (they obviously need a goalie too).

      _______________________________________________________
      Well, he’s kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace “accidentally” with “repeatedly” and replace “dog” with “son.”

      “It’s sad when our rookies have no NHL experience before they jump up to the NHL.” – nunacanadien

      • habsnyc says:

        Flyers dumped their top two centers to give the team to Pronger. They are serious about defense, hence the Weber offer sheet. But last season the only had three defensemen who missed less than 20 games.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • HammerHab says:

        I think it’s because a lot of people confuse real life with their fantasy teams.

        ———————————–

        It’ll always be Habs Inside/Out to me

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Well written as usual Chris, I think that is why many of us value a real blue chip Dman over a scoring winger.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Thanks Chris. The recent formula for success seems to be you build from the net out. PK has already shown he’s a top defenceman and he is still developing. Part of that development should be a little less with the yapping.

      ———————————–

    • habsnyc says:

      If I am reading your comment properly, you do not believe that trading Subban for Eberle will bring Montreal closer to contending. I think that is very fair.

      Cole’s production is going to decline with age, whereas Eberle has yet to hit his ceiling. So I would have no problem with diminishing Cole’s production in favor of a younger player.

      From what I understand, Subban fits well culturally in the organization as part of the young core of the team. Unless their path to success is blocked by more talented teammates, I do not like trading those kinds of players. I get why Adam Oates wanted to leave Detroit because of Yzerman and why Stahl wanted to leave Pittsburgh because of Malkin and Crosby. But in this case, Subban can be a first pairing defenseman in Montreal for the next several years. One rarely gets a good return by a trading young player who is a good fit with the team.

      Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • nunacanadien says:

        I find it sad that we expect a middle of the road player like Cole to be our superstar because Gomez and others are not producing. It’s sad when Cole is the poster boy for MaxPac. Not to crap on MaxPac, but The MaxPac has star potential. Why are we wasting our young talent expecting them to learn how to be lazy washed up Mexicans or washed up lazy Russians who break their legs just skating, or some tiny tyke of a Gionta as captain?

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Haven’t seen you post in awhile nuna, always an interesting read. Thanks

        • halfnthebag says:

          nuna .. sorry man, I don’t get it. First off get your facts straight about the player’s nationality.
          2ndly, Cole has been a decent player (except while in EDM before they drafted all their talent) throughout his career. Mentoring a guy like MaxPac is a good thing. Well rounded and mature, knows his role and puts points on the board… if you want more you need to spend a ton of money or give up assets you will regret parting with.
          And equating Cole and Markov as has beens is a mistake. Obviously you don’t get what they bring to this team.

          • nunacanadien says:

            We should rename the habs the Geoff Molson Daycare for washed up veterans and rookies who can’t hit good but can skate fast……cause that’s all it’s become, one special needs team, complete with our head case goalie and equally head cased Gomez……heck all we are missing is the shrink to help the other head case Therrien……

          • HabinBurlington says:

            That certainly rolls off the tongue alot easier than Habs. Would there be an acronym for “The Geoff Molson Daycare for washed up veterans and rookies who can’t hit good but can skate fast”?

      • Chris says:

        Not only does trading Subban for Eberle not bring Montreal closer to contending, but we rid ourselves of a guy we KNOW can play as a #1 defenceman (on the hope that one of Beaulieu, Tinordi or Ellis can eventually fill that role) in exchange for a player that brings offence but not much else.

        Signing a top #1 defenceman on the free agent market will cost your team $6 million and up. Getting Cole cost the team $4.5 million, while Gionta cost $5 million. Neither guy is as good as Eberle offensively, but they are both more complete players due to their age. Landing wingers hasn’t been a huge problem in recent years, but every team is desperate to land top defencemen. They simply don’t come available very often because teams know how desperately hard it is to find one.

        • habsnyc says:

          I agee with you. But I am not sure if the salary information supports that thesis. Of top 10 NHL salaries last year, only two went to defensemen. One of them was Christian Ehroff, whose $10million salary is way above his $4million cap hit. On about one third of the teams, a defenseman is the highest paid player.

          Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

          • Chris says:

            Part of that information, however, is because so few of the elite defencemen ever actually make it to unrestricted free agency.

            The other major point is that so many of the game’s dominant defencemen are young. With the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, only Zdeno Chara remains of the elite defencemen that had reached free agency age.

            Now that the younger guys are starting to get there, we’re seeing the salaries go haywire.

            Shea Weber will now be the 5th highest paid player in the game, while Ryan Suter will be the 9th highest paid player. Doughty is in at #19, while Brian Campbell is in at 14. Other than the three generational stars in the league (Crosby, Malkin and Ovechkin), most of the big salary guys are forwards who cashed in as UFA’s. We should start to see big contracts coming forward for defencemen unless they give hometown discounts or settle on crazy, long-term contracts.

    • pottymonster says:

      Very well said, Chris.

      I honestly don’t get it when people say ‘PK hasn’t proven anything yet’… Like you say, the guy plays top minutes in every situation, and bangs in good points. Sure, he isn’t necessarily the greatest defenceman in the league yet, but the guy is only 23.

      Now is a great time to lock him up long term at a discount. I don’t see how people think it would be a bad move. Sign him for 8 years, maybe on a sliding contract that pays him 5 early, and ends with him at around 6.5. If you put him a on a two year deal, he’s only going to get better. By the time his two year deal ends and you want to put him on a long term contract, he’ll be a 7-8 million dollar player. Either save now and accept a little risk, or pay waaay more in the long term. It’s not like PK has been sheltered by Markov for the past two years *cough*Komi*cough*.

      • nunacanadien says:

        We have no defensive plan. Our defense plan is to let the bigger players walk into the Montreal zone and own the game. Why waste PK Subban on a defense-less team like Montreal?

    • jon514 says:

      People focus on the fact that PK went from 38 to 36 pts, but say very little about the fact that he also improved his +/- by 17.

      Hockey is not Basketball. Defense is just as, if not more important, than offense.

      Drop PK into Pittsburgh’s lineup and he would’ve broke 50pts and lead the team in +/-

      “This Team is Less than the sum of it’s parts while Gomez is one of those parts.”

    • Cal says:

      Bang on. A 22 minute + Dman is more important than Eberle.

      The Habs scored 4 fewer goals last season than the season previous. They allowed 45 more. That’s the difference between 6th place and last in the east.

    • twilighthours says:

      Derek Zona over at an Oilers’ blog (the stats blog, equivalent to EOTP), thinks Eberle played against weak opponents – more so than Hall or Nugent-Hopkins. Maybe they didn’t play as a unit all game.

      Either way, those folks think Eberle is overrated and would trade him for Subban in a heartbeat.

      Me? I don’t need processed data. I’ll just say what I’ve always said: Subban is the best player who is not a goaltender we’ve had on this team in at least 20 years. There are few players I would trade him for straight-up, and Eberle is certainly not one of them.

    • Newf_Habster says:

      It will NOT happen, period.

      You need to be very realistic that the Habs are not gonna get rid of PK Subban via trade soon.

  44. frankcasting says:

    The PK comparison I like to refer to is Karlsson. If he is the gold standard (Norris), then PK is one season away from eclipsing that. Karlsson had a great PP to help bang in rebounds, and is a nice skater. PK can do that, hit, block, control the tempo, etc., he just needs the PP to click for his point totals to rocket, and we know how that can swing from one season to the next. Suddenly, he’s in the conversation.

    As for Doughty, Weber, Suter, all these other mega media-hyped dudes, where’s their Norris? Doughty was viewed as an under-achiever until Quick stole the playoff spot for them and rode them to the Cup, and the other two dudes – playing together – lost to the frickin’ Coyotes in the conference semi-finals, the highest level they’ve ever achieved.

    So let’s keep things in perspective. Is PK a younger Chara or Lidstrom? No. Does he have the same potential as his current young NHL peers? ABSOLUTELY. $5-6M over 5 years sounds perfectly fair to me.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

    • Chris says:

      Doughty does everything that Subban does, but he does it just a bit better. And being eclipsed by Jonathan Quick isn’t necessarily a bad thing…Quick would have eclipsed just about anybody in the world playing like he was last season.

      Compare their career progressions:

      18/19 years old:
      Doughty – 6 G, 27 PTS, -17, 56 PIM, 23:49 TOI, 2:58 SH TOI, 90 hits, 114 BKS

      Subban – not in NHL

      19/20 years old:
      Doughty – 16 G, 59 PTS, +20, 54 PIM, 24:58 TOI, 2:01 SH TOI, 157 hits, 82 BKS

      Subban – 2 assists in 2 games, but limited data set

      20/21 years old:
      Doughty – 11 G, 40 PTS, +13, 68 PIM, 25:38 TOI, 2:02 SH TOI, 137 hits, 101 BKS

      Subban – 14 G, 38 PTS, -8, 124 PIM, 22:16 TOI, 2:32 SH TOI, 110 hits, 106 BKS

      21/22 years old:
      Doughty – 10 G, 36 PTS, -2, 69 PIM, 24:53 TOI, 2:17 SH TOI, 124 hits, 70 BKS

      Subban – 7 G, 36 PTS, +9, 119 PIM, 24:18 TOI, 2:53 SH TOI, 105 hits, 113 BKS

      Subban and Doughty have been not too far apart in most categories, but I would argue that Doughty is just a bit better. And while last year was a down year for both players, Doughty’s is mitigated by the fact that he missed training camp due to a holdout and then suffered a concussion early in the season. Nonetheless, he still gets the edge for me based on a brilliant playoff (16 points in 20 games) and for being a legitimate candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy while winning the Stanley Cup.

      The two aren’t far apart, but there remains a gap for me. Doughty is much more disciplined and still has a higher ceiling offensively than Subban.

      That being said, Subban can close that gap, as he entered the league much more “raw” as a player than Doughty. As his positioning and decision making improves, he should absolutely be included in the discussion with Doughty, Weber, Keith and Karlsson. But that is assuming that those guys, especially the younger Doughty and Karlsson, don’t similarly improve their own games.

      • habsnyc says:

        Doughy has composure. Under pressure, in the playoffs or Olympics, he makes the correct play. I do not have turnover statistics to back up this assertion, so I could be wrong, but I am going with his reputation having made Team Canada at age 20 and his strong playoff performance. Subban gambles, sometimes with great results. Subban sometimes chooses not to make the right play in order to attempt to make a better play.

        I believe that players who only make the right play have longer careers than those who try to do something special whenever the opportunity arises.

        Blue, blanc et rouge. Red and White for Canada. Blue for Smurfs.

      • halfnthebag says:

        While I like the fact you included stats, because well Fans are visual learners ;) , I think we credit Doughty on his ‘talent’ when we should put the emphasis on development. You noted that Doughty played when he was 18… so basically, Doughty had 3 yrs experience – maturity, ability to make mistakes and learn from them, and wasn’t coming in as the go to guy with others having more experience than him. Note that his TOI was still quite high, but still at 18 the demands on him were less.
        Subban came in at 20 and produced the same as a guy who had 3 yrs worth of experience on him… as much as Doughty may be the number one in LA, to discredit Subban by saying ‘he may be a no. 1 guy in the future’ is a litle critical of Subban.

        I like the comparison as it shows Subban’s worth… and I do think Subban to MTL is worth similar as Doughy to LA.

        • Chris says:

          I agree wtih the gist of this, but we have to be fair. Subban wasn’t playing in a beer league. He just wasn’t seen as ready when he was 18, whereas Doughty clearly was.

          Subban had a LOT to learn in the defensive zone coming out of the OHL, where he tended to be overly reliant on his huge speed advantage to make up for what was absolutely terrible positioning. That is the single greatest improvement in his game, and there is still room to flourish.

          I think that Doughty is simply a bit better in all areas of the game and a little more calm and consistent. Subban is a little more up and down: when he’s good, he is fantastic, but he can make some really questionable decisions on pinching, hitting and passing at times that are rapidly disappearing as he matures.

          Doughty’s advantage is maturity and poise, not talent. So I agree that Subban CAN be just as good, but I disagree with people that would argue that he is there already or that he will necessarily become that good. He’s got some work to do. Fortunately, he seems like a hard-working kid.

          Step one for me is that he get off to a better start, instead of waiting until December or January to find his offensive stride.

  45. RiverviewCanadien says:

    PK is not worth 6 Million per season, not right now and who knows if he will be in the future. We are talking close to Lidstrom dollars here. PK is no where near the player Nik was. And yes I realize, defence man in the NHL are overpaid.

    4 million per over a 3 year deal is plenty for his 2nd contract. Let him work for his big money contract and prove he is worth backing the truck up for.

    Now those talking about PK for Eberle…IF IF IF IF IF that is true (I doubt) AND EDM is crazy enough to part ways with Jordan for Subban, Marc would be nutz if he passed over getting that kid.

    Jordan Eberle is going to be a superstar in the NHL. Oh wait the kid scored over 30 goals in his 2nd year….hmmm how much do we value a similar superstar in the making that we already have and just scored over 30 goals…people would freak if the Habs traded Pacioretty (UNTOUCHABLE).

    There are untouchables on every team, but sorry guys, PK is not one of them for me, if the right deal comes along.

    • halfnthebag says:

      If the clock were turned back 20-30 yrs, the Offense for Defence deal would be worth thinking about. Current era You DON’T ditch a franchise D for a decent scorer.
      Eberle works well with Nuge and Hall as they are all a little experimental, new age, dekes and cycling. If Eberle was placed on a line with slower players, older players, you think he”d slow his game to keep them on his page??
      Montreal isn’t a fireburner team only settling on Offense like the Oilers. With their aging G and lesser known D, they can’t simply have a well rounded game, they need to score a lot of points. Eberle fits great in EDM, and I for one hope to watch that Kid line play for a long while together.
      Watching Eberle since WJHC, he has flare, imagination, quick first step, goes into the corner… everything you want in a forward. I just don’t know how well Eberle would fit into Therrien’s style of play. (Point 1)
      Secondly, I have no idea how you don’t see Subban moving forward and becoming an even better D in all aspects of his game… see above note re: Subban VS Doughty… his PIMS are lower and he’s blocking more shots, spending more time on PK. There is absolutely no reason to believe that he is done developing.
      I’d deal Weber,Diaz, Kaberle all before ever considering dealing PK.

  46. Strummer says:

    The Taylor Hall signing in terms of dollars is good news for PK’s camp.
    It set the bar a little higher.
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  47. habsfan0 says:

    Another slow day in the ongoing NHL labour dispute.

    The most excitement has been generated in the televised leadership debates the last few nights..Pauline Marois was left speechless last night when Francois Legault accused her of being the woman seen with Prince Harry in the Vegas “naughty” photos.

    • Cal says:

      Geez, you actually watching those things? I’d rather be hit repeatedly by one of those old thick and heavy phone books than watch that.
      I think she took the pictures. ;)


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